Submitted by Geoff Kees Thompson on
Earlier this week Vox ran a great story overviewing the car lobby's creation of jaywalking, and how we as a society took the bait hook, line and sinker, transforming our public streets from dynamic public spaces full of commerce and life into traffic sewers. By prioritizing private car traffic over all others, we've inadvertently robbed our cities of one of their biggest assets, interesting streets we all want to spend time on. Slowly we've begun reclaiming those streets. Though Western Europe is arguably way ahead of us in this realm with Madrid closing off car traffic on many of its downtown streets and Paris soon to implement a car ban, Philadelphia is starting to catch on. We've seen the positive effects even a small intervention like the Grays Ferry Triangle can achieve, creating safe spaces for pedestrians and commerce.
Yet in order for us to understand where we are going, we need to understand where we've come from. Sixty-five years ago Disney made a cartoon that sums up all that is wrong with our treatment of cars and what we let drivers get away with. For any of us who have driven, this author included, this short is still as relevant today as it was in 1950. Though "Motor Mania" speaks for itself, it is worth dissecting a little further. There's a surprising amount of transit wisdom we can glean from the 6 minute, 39 second video. Take a look: